Archive for category DAP

Call for the immediate release of Gunasekaran and Saminathan and the other five detained for suspected attempt to revive the LTTE or they should be charged in court to afford them a chance to defend themselves

Seruan untuk pembebasan segera Gunasekaran dan Saminathan serta lima yang lain yang ditahan kerana disyaki cuba untuk menghidupkan semula LTTE harus dibebaskan segera atau didakwa di mahkamah supaya mereka mempunyai peluang untuk membela diri

Seperti yang ditegaskan oleh 16 Ahli Parlimen dan ADUN dari Pakatan Harapan dalam satu kenyataan bersama semalam berhubung penahanan dua ADUN DAP dan lima yang lain oleh pihak polis atas dakwaan mereka mempunyai kaitan dengan LTTE adalah di luar pemahaman, kerana LTTE sebagai sebuah gerakan pembebasan Tamil telahpun terhapus di Sri Lanka selepas berakhirnya perang saudara yang berlarutan selama 26 tahun pada tahun 2009, di mana ketua LTTE Vellupillai Prabhakaran terbunuh.

Lebih daripada 10 tahun sudah berlalu dan amatlah tidak masuk akal untuk membayangkan kebangkitan semula LTTE dari Malaysia, apatah lagi membabitkan pemimpin-pemimpin DAP.

Selama 53 tahun, DAP komited terhadap perjuangan politik yang aman dan demokratik dalam membawa perubahan, sekaligus menolak sebarang bentuk keganasan – apatah lagi terorisme.

Saya sendiri pernah ditahan mengikut Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) yang sudah dihapuskan atas dakwaan menganggu-gugat keselamatan negara, dan amatlah penting, terutamanya sejak perubahan kerajaan pada 9 Mei 2018 yang lalu, untuk strategi dan pemikiran polis berhubung soal perbezaan pendapat yang sah dan apa yang dimaksudkan sebagai ancaman kepada keselamatan negara, perlu melalui berubah dengan sewajarnya.

Ini antara sebab mengapa Pakatan Harapan berjanji dalam Manifesto Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 lalu untuk menghapuskan akta-akta yang menindas, terutamanya peruntukan yang bersifat drakonian dalam Akta SOSMA 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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The three things that happened to me in my first Internal Security Act detention in Muar 1969-1970

Tiga perkara yang berlaku pada saya semasa penahanan pertama saya di bawah ISA di Muar di antara tahun 1969 hingga tahun 1970

Tiga perkara yang telah berlaku sepanjang 17 bulan saya ditahan buat kali pertama di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) di Pusat Tahanan Muar dalam tahun 1969-1970.

Pertamanya, saya memulakan pengajian ijazah sarjana muda perundangan dengan program luaran University of London dan kemudiannya saya terbang ke London sebanyak tiga kali dengan penerbangan termurah yang ada pada masa tersebut (Aeroflot), untuk majlis makan malam di Lincoln’s Inn bagi mendapatkan kelayakan untuk dipanggil ke bar di London. Tetapi saya memutuskan untuk tidak menjadi seorang peguam.

Kedua, saya belajar untuk membaca dan menulis dalam jawi dengan sendiri.

Tetapi, perkara ketigalah yang mengubah hidup saya, berkenaan dengan integriti dan kesetiaan kepada prinsip — kata-kata seorang patriot-penyair-ahli politik China Wen Tianxiang yang berbunyi:

“Siapakah yang dapat mengelakkan kematiannya sejak permulaan zaman?
“Biarlah hati saya cekal murni untuk kekal bersinar dalam sejarah.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS-UMNO Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (HPU) is not about Malays or Muslims but about saving UMNO from oblivion and keeping UMNO leaders out of jail and giving PAS the opportunity to be Big Brother in a PAS-UMNO alliance and for PAS President to have a shot to be Prime Minister of Malaysia

Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (HPU) PAS-UMNO bukan tentang orang Melayu atau Islam, sebaliknya tentang menyelamatkan UMNO daripada dilupakan dan untuk mengelakkan pemimpin UMNO daripada meringkuk di dalam penjara dan memberikan PAS peluang untuk merasa menjadi Abang Besar dalam gabungan PAS-UMNO dan untuk Presiden PAS mencuba nasib untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia

Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (HPU) PAS-UMNO di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra UMNO Sabtu lalu, bukanlah tentang Melayu, Islam atau Raja-raja Melayu tetapi untuk menyelamatkan UMNO daripada dilupakan, malah untuk mengelakkan pemimpin UMNO daripada meringkuk di dalam penjara sepanjang hayat mereka dek kerana amalan rasuah dan salah guna kuasa semasa mereka berada di dalam kerajaan, dan memberikan peluang untuk PAS merasa jadi “Abang Besar” dalam gabungan PAS-UMNO dan menjadi penyelamat kepada UMNO yang kleptokratik — inilah sebab mengapa ia digelar sebagai klepto-teokrasi — dan untuk memberikan peluang yang julung-julung kalinya buat Presiden PAS untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia setelah dinafikan peluang berkenaan semasa berada di dalam gabungan Pakatan Rakyat.

Untuk mencapai objektif-objektif berkenaan, gabungan PAS-UMNO perlu mencipta suasana yang dipenuhi rasa ketakutan, cemas dan kebencian yang tidak berasas dan diada-adakan di kalangan orang Melayu dan Islam, yang merupakan majoriti pengundi di Semenanjung Malaysia, dan untuk pertama kalinya setelah merdeka, kaum Melayu dan agama Islam kononnya berdepan krisis eksistensial, menepikan tiga fakta asas berikut:

Pertama, siapa yang berada di dalam kerajaan sejak enam dekad yang lalu dan bagaimana mungkin untuk kerajaan Pakatan Harapan memperbetulkan masalah yang diciptakan UMNO dalam tempoh masa satu, dua atau lima tahun sedangkan hegemoni UMNO dalam kerajaan telah bersarang selama enam dekad lamanya, yang agenda sebenarnya bukan untuk mengangkat taraf kehidupan bumiputera tetapi sebaliknya untuk mewujudkan UMNO-putra yang hari ini telah menciptakan kleptokrat global Malaysia pertama yang menjadi watak penting dalam skandal rasuah membabitkan 1MDB. Pakatan Harapan tidak akan menghapuskan apa yang baik untuk negara, tetapi akan melaksanakan pembaharuan terhadap apa yang buruk dan menjejaskan negara;

Kedua, fitnah terbesar bahawa DAP kononnya anti-Melayu, anti-Islam dan anti- Raja-raja Melayu, sedangkan DAP telah berulang kali menegaskan, di dalam Parlimen dan di dalam dokumen dasar sejak lima dekad lalu, dan di dalam pengumuman dasar asas gabungan politik DAP, sama ada Gagasan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Rakyat dan terbaharu Pakatan Harapan, menegaskan dan menegaskan semula sokongan dan komitmen DAP terhadap perkara asas dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, terutamanya berhubung bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi, Islam sebagai agama rasmi dan sistem raja berpelembagaan di Malaysia.

Ketiga, realiti demografi di Malaysia yang memberi jaminan bahawa orang Melayu tidak akan kehilangan kuasa politik, tak kira apa jua yang akan berlaku terhadap UMNO atau PAS dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t deregister UMNO – let it self-destruct!

Jangan batalkan pendaftaran UMNO — biarlah ia musnah dengan sendiri!

Saya bersetuju dengan Ahli Parlimen DAP Kepong Lim Lip Eng yang mana kerajaan tidak sepatutnya membatalkan pendaftaran UMNO kerana kesalahan para pemimpinnya. Namun begitu, politik kotor parti tersebut haruslah dibendung.

Saya percaya bahawa kerajaan Pakatan Harapan harus mengambil kedudukan yang lebih tinggi dan berikan ruang dan masa untuk UMNO memperbetulkan salahlakunya.

Sepanjang lima tahun di antara 2013 sehingga 2018, DAP pernah menghadapi situasi yang sama di mana Kabinet Najib mempertimbangkan pembubaran secara haram parti ini berdasarkan pelbagai tuduhan yang dibuat-buat.

Dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 yang berlangsung pada 5 Mei 2013 yang lalu, rejim Najib hanya berubah fikiran pada saat terakhir daripada keputusan untuk mengharamkan penggunaan simbol roket DAP pada PRU tersebut.

Sebelum PRU14, rejim Najib merasakan sangat yakin dengan kebolehan mereka untuk memenangi sehingga ⅔ kerusi Parlimen sehingga mereka memutuskan untuk tidak menggantung pendaftaran DAP — yang berasaskan tuduhan kononnya pilihan raya dalaman parti pada Disember 2012 dilaksanakan dengan cara yang tidak demokratik dan melanggar undang-undang — dan sebaliknya memilih untuk mengharamkan Parti Bersatu yang baru ditubuhkan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shall I just forget about New Malaysia and call it quits?

Patutkah saya hanya lupakan impian satu Malaysia Baharu dan bersara sahaja?

Salah satu respons kepada kenyataan saya semalam mengenai keupayaan Pakatan Harapan untuk memenangi PRU15 pada tahun 2023 — di mana saya telah menyatakan keyakinan saya untuk kemenangan ini — yang berbunyi seperti berikut:

“Bukan, bukan sekarang. Buat masa ini DAP pasti akan musnah. Sila turun ke peringkat akar umbi sekarang, dengar apa yang rakyat ingin katakan… dengar pendapat mereka yang dahulunya penyokong DAP… yang kini jumlahnya dapat dibilang dengan jari… Pemimpin DAP kini sudah menjadi pekak, buta… dan BODOH.”

Dua minggu yang lepas, saya telah mengatakan di Gelang Patah yang saya akan kehilangan kerusi parlimen Iskandar Puteri ini dan DAP akan kehilangan 30-40 peratus undi dalam negara jika pilihanraya umum diadakan sekarang.

Perkara ini menunjukkan betapa kritikalnya salah faham dan salah tanggapan yang dihadapi DAP dan Pakatan Harapan dalam kalangan penyokong kami.

Kami memerlukan masa untuk membolehkan penyokong kami menyedari yang DAP belum pernah dan tidak pernah mengkhianati mereka dan kami masih komited terhadap matlamat Malaysia Baharu yang berteraskan perpaduan, kebebasan, keadilan, kecemerlangan, dan integriti.

Jika benar DAP telah mengkhianati rakyat dan harapan dan matlamat Malaysia Baharu, maka layaklah DAP ditolak oleh rakyat Malaysia dan tidak akan ada cara untuk DAP mendapatkan semula sokongan rakyat. Malah sokongan ini hanya akan makin merosot. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Johore be the forefront to pioneer to recasting of the 2005 United Nations Initiative of Alliance for Civilisations to defuse tensions between Western and Islamic worlds into a genuinely universal civilizational collaboration with the growing importance of Chinese and Indian civilisations

Johore DAP has made history in the 53-year history of the DAP, as never before in a state meeting has there been more questions and more opinions expressed in the past three hours.
When I decided in 1966 to take the political plunge and join in the establishment of the DAP, it was purely for idealism and patriotism of what we can do for Malaysia. There was never a thought of elections, becoming a Member of Parliament or be part of the government.

But these became necessary steps in the process to translate our ideas and ideals into reality.

DAP leaders and members have undoubtedly found in the past 15 months that it is easier to be an Opposition party, and this explain for the thicket of views and questions by the Johore branch leaders this morning.

But in opposition, we cannot translate our ideas, ideals and hopes into reality, which we can while we are in government.

DAP members and supporters must have trust and confidence of DAP and its leaders that after so many sacrifices and struggles that they have gone through, the objectives and principles of the party for unity, integrity, justice and progress for all Malaysians will never be betrayed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir wrong to brand Dong Zong as “racist” but Dong Zong was not right to claim that Jawi lesson for Chinese/Tamil primary school Std. 4 Bahasa Malaysia subject from 2020 was beginning of Islamisation

Perdana Menteri, Dr Mahathir Mohammad salah melabel Dong Zong sebagai “rasis”, tetapi Dong Zong juga tidak betul apabila mendakwa pembelajaran tulisan Jawi bagi mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia Tahun Empat di sekolah rendah Cina/Tamil bermula tahun 2020 sebagai permulaan Islamisasi

Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohammad salah melabel Dong Zong sebagai “rasis”, tetapi Dong Zong juga tidak betul apabila mendakwa pembelajaran tulisan Jawi bagi mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia Tahun Empat di sekolah rendah Cina/Tamil bermula tahun 2020 sebagai permulaan Islamisasi.

Kedua-dua insiden ini mengambarkan betapa berat salah faham yang timbul berkenaan tulisan Jawi di sekolah rendah Cina dan Tamil.

Saya berada di Chennai, Salem, Bangalore dan New Dehli ketika kontroversi subjek tulisan Jawi meledak dan taklimat oleh Timbalan Menteri Pendidikan, Teo Nie Ching dalam perjumpaan untuk ahli-ahli DAP Melaka semalam merupakan kali pertama saya mengetahui tentang punca sebenar kontroversi berkenaan.

Terdapat teori-teori konspirasi bahawa kontroversi tulisan Jawi ini didalangi oleh sama ada Menteri Pendidikan, Maszlee Malek atau Perdana Menteri Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad demi tujuan politik.

Pun begitu, hakikatnya, kontroversi subjek itu adalah warisan daripada kerajaan terdahulu kerana keputusan muktamad mengenai buku teks baru untuk sekolah rendah Cina dan Tamil untuk memperkenalkan subjek tulisan Jawi untuk murid-murid Tahun Empat pada tahun 2020 telah dibuat oleh Jawatankuasa Kurikulum Kementerian Pendidikan yang dipengerusikan oleh menteri pendidikan dan dua timbalan menteri pendidikan dalam satu mesyuarat pada 30 September 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP will be defeated in Iskandar Puteri parliamentary seat and would lose 30 to 40 per cent of our votes in the country if election is held now, and we need time for the people to realise that the DAP has not betrayed them or that we have not given up on our objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity

DAP akan kehilangan kerusi Parlimen Iskandar Puteri dan mungkin kehilangan sejumlah 30 ke 40 peratus undi jika pilihanraya umum diadakan sekarang, kita perlukan masa untuk rakyat menyedari yang DAP tidak pernah mengkhianati mereka mahupun melupakan matlamat bersama Malaysia Baharu yang berteraskan perpaduan, keadilan, kebebasan, dan integrity

DAP akan kalah di kawasan parlimen Iskandar Puteri dan kehilangan antara 30 hingga 40 peratus undi di seluruh negara jika piliharanraya umum diadakan sekarang.

Inilah tahap salah faham penyokong DAP yang terhadap DAP yang kini berada di dalam kerajaan Pakatan Harapan.

Kami memerlukan masa bagi menjelaskan kepada penyokong kami dan rakyat Malaysia yang DAP tidak mengkhianati dan kami masih belum melupakan matlamat bersama Malaysia Baharu.

Jika benarlah DAP telah mengkhianati perjuangan kami selama ini, adalah mustahil untuk kami mendapatkan semula sokongan rakyat, walaupun selama mana pun masa yang diberi. Malah, sokongan kepada kami hanya akan menjadi lebih teruk.

Setelah berjuang dan berkorban selama berdekad lamanya, DAP tidak akan sama sekali mengkhianati rakyat Malaysia, prinsip-prinsip kami, dan matlamat kami untuk membina sebuah Malaysia yang baharu yang berteraskan perpaduan, kebebasan, keadilan, dan integriti. Oleh itu, para pemimpin DAP haruslah berdaya tahan, bersabar, dan terus komited kepada agenda Malaysia Baharu. Read the rest of this entry »

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I have never said that one must learn Jawi to be a Malaysian – all I said was learning Jawi did not “make me any less of a Chinese, and may have helped in making me more of a Malaysian”

A friend has sent me a newspaper headline which quoted me as saying: “Learn Jawi To Be More Malaysian”.

I have never said one must learn Jawi to be a Malaysian – all I said in my statement from Salem, Tamil Nadu yesterday was learning Jawi while I was serving my first detention in Muar in 1969 did not “make me any less of a Chinese, and may have helped in making me more of a Malaysian”.

Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation and we should leverage on our unique position where the great Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western civilisations meet in confluence in Malaysia to build a great Malaysian nation.

We must be careful not to fall into the trap of conspirators who want to pit race against race, religion against religion to arouse suspicion, distrust and hatred in our plural society to regain political power and work against the flowering of the best of our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians must develop a new self-confidence, a new “Malaysia Boleh” spirit, to exorcise the contrived or imaginary fears and demons so as to achieve a golden age for Malaysia

Kita semua haruslah membina suatu keyakinan diri yang baharu, satu semangat Malaysia Boleh, untuk kita melawan segala momokan dan ancaman yang dibuat-buat bagi mencapai era kegemilangan untuk Malaysia

Saya telah mengadakan perjumpaan dengan rakyat dan pelajar Malaysia semasa lawatan saya ke Salem semalam.

Daripada negara orang, saya telah mengikuti perkembangan semasa di tanah air, termasuklah kontroversi mengenai pengenalan seni khat jawi kepada pelajar darjah empat melalui kurikulum pendidikan Bahasa Malaysia di Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina dan Tamil.

Beberapa persoalan telah timbul dan telahpun dijawab berkenaan dengan isu ini, antaranya:

Adakah menjadi kewajipan kepada pelajar-pelajar di SJK Cina dan Tamil untuk mempelajari tulisan jawi di bawah rancangan baru ini?

Tidak, kerana Kementerian Pelajaran tidak berhasrat untuk melaksanakan ujian atau peperiksaan untuk seni khat ini.

Bilakah rancangan untuk memperkenalkan seni khat jawi ini diputuskan?
Pada tahun 2016 oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

Adakah kementerian berhasrat untuk mendengar pendapat-pendapat lain mengenai perkara ini?

Pihak Kementerian Pelajaran akan meneruskan pelaksanaan rancangan ini, tetapi pandangan daripada pelbagai pihak akan terus didengari untuk memastikan terdapatnya pertimbangan yang adil.

Mungkin soalan yang lebih penting untuk ditanya adalah: Adakah seseorang yang belajar tulisan jawi itu mengkhianati bahasa dan budaya orang Cina?

Pada saya, jawapannya adalah tidak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to DAP Veterans – New Scenarios and challenges require fresh strategies but the political principles and objective to build a top world-class Malaysian nation remain the same

I want to pay tribute to DAP Veterans tonight.

Apart from me, the oldest DAP leader present tonight is the former DAP National Publicity Secretary and former MP for Seputeh Liew Ah Kim.

It took DAP 42 years of democratic political struggle to taste the first fruits of success and be a major part of the Penang State Government and part of Selangor and Perak (though for one year) state governments.

It required another 10 years (or 52 years after the DAP’s formation in 1966) before the DAP became part of the Malaysian Federal government coalition of Pakatan Harapan, retain our positions in the State Governments of Penang and Selangor, and a coalition partner in the state governments of Perak, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johore and Sabah.

We have come a long way in the past 53 years, contesting initially in the by-elections in Kampong Baru (Selangor) Tampoi, Segamat Utara (Johore) and Serdang (Selangor) before contesting in the first national general election in 1969. Read the rest of this entry »

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July Parliament made great strides in institutional reforms but the pace is still too slow and unsatisfactory and more should be attempted in next Parliamentary meeting beginning in Octobert in keeping with the New Malaysia pledge of Pakatan Harapan

The July meeting of Parliament which ended on Thursday made great strides in institutional reforms – starting with the motion requiring Members of Parliament to publicly declare their assets, followed by the historic constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 years to 18 years (which to me is a 48-year dream come true as I had first raised this subject in Parliament in 1971) and ending with the first reading of the long-awaited Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill giving the civil society three months for public feedback and consultation.

A day after the ending of the 12-day meeting of July meeting on July 18, the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced after a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption that the Freedom of Information Act will be drawn up to replace the Official Secrets Act 1972 and that major public service appointments like the chairmen and members of the Election Commission, Judicial Appointments Commission and Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) as well as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will be referred to the parliamentary select committee.

These are impressive institutional reforms which were never attempted by the Barisan Nasional administration before but the pace of institutional reform is still too slow and unsatisfactory and more should be attempted in the next Parliamentary meeting which will meet for 36 days from October 7 to December 5, 2019. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘We saved the future on May 9’

New Straits Times
By Adrian Lai, Arfa Yunus – July 14, 2019

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has had an enduring presence in Malaysia’s political scene, beginning in the mid-1960s as a vocal member of the opposition. The idealistic politician has fought for various causes. More than half a century later, at 78, the Iskandar Puteri parliamentarian is still a big part of the nation’s political landscape. Lim, in an interview with New Straits Times , recaps the year that has been since Pakatan Harapan swept into power

Question: After being in power for slightly more than a year, do you feel there’s still more work to be done?

Answer: We are in a new scenario where 14 months after something very few of us expected to happen, we have brought about a peaceful and democratic transition of power, which I think very few had expected.

If you had asked me on the morning of May 9 (2018) whether there would be a change of government in the evening, I don’t think so, although I’ve spent the whole (election) campaign going up and down the country to bring about change.

And I think (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) also did not expect it. I think he felt he would not only win, but win with a two-thirds majority. Miraculously, we succeeded. It’s a miracle that the four parties were able to work together for 14 months.

There were those who had expected that we would disintegrate and implode within a few months. And now they are saying we will only last for half a term.

But I would like to see this government continue and win the next general election. And we must be committed to this objective.

What is important is that we succeeded in saving future generations on May 9. But the present generation must pay the price, at least for the next few years due to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)scandal and rampant corruption.

And a country that we can look to as an example is Venezuela.

Venezuela was one of the richest in the world about 40 years ago. It was the richest country in Latin America. It was a country that people in South America wanted to go to.

Forty years ago, they provided free education and medical services, but today, it’s poor, backward and bankrupt. According to the United Nations, up to one-tenth of its population have escaped from the country, even at the cost of their lives.

So we have to save the future generation from the fate of Venezuela.

Q: There seems to be a problem with communication in Pakatan Harapan (PH) because despite the allegations of corruption against Najib, he appears to be enjoying some popularity and support through the Malu apa bossku campaign, so much so that he was appointed as chief of Barisan Nasional’s advisory council.

A: On the one hand, I’m horrified. On another, I’m quite happy. How can a kleptocrat be the adviser of BN?

I don’t believe thinking Malaysians can resonate with that. I know there is a big crowd who support the Malu apa bossku campaign, but I believe that instead of competing with Umno and Pas’ three Rs — race, religion and royalty — we have to be courageous to explain the issues concerned.

For instance, there is a belief that the Malays are under threat. How can they be under threat?

If after 60 years of Umno rule and the Malays are still under threat, something is very wrong.

Who is threatening the Malays? DAP? Impossible.

That is their agenda. What (Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) and (Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul) Hadi (Awang) are trying to do is convey the message that Malays and Islam are under threat, and the devil is DAP.

Take for instance, (the Dewan Rakyat’s approval of a special motion for all members of parliament (MP), senators and immediate family members) to declare their assets.

And they claim it is something dreamt up by DAP, which is an agenda of the socialists and communists.

Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung and Fidel Castro would turn in their graves if they knew about Hadi associating socialist leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Nelson Mandela, Harold Wilson, Tony Benn and Bob Hawke with communism.

I think Hadi is ignorant of the truth. He demonises DAP and that’s the problem.

They are telling lies. I’ve been accused of being the mastermind of the whole government and that (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is my stooge.

On the other hand, in other sectors, I am Dr Mahathir’s stooge. So, is Dr Mahathir my stooge or am I his stooge? We are neither.

We have our own views and we respect each other’s views and, of course, the question is how can I work with Dr Mahathir.

I’ve never said he’s corrupt. You can go through all my statements. It’s all on record. I’ve never said Dr Mahathir is corrupt.

I would say there were instances of power abuse and all that, but there was one time before the election Dr Mahathir told me: “Sitting with you in public, I’ll lose a lot of Malay votes.”

And I told him: “Yes! I’ll lose a lot of non-Malay votes. Same thing.”

But we had to come together.

Q: What’s the difference between DAP then and now?

A: One basic difference between DAP in the past, when we were in the opposition, and DAP now is that in the past, we only thought about DAP because we were a single party, and we had to set our objectives and principles.

Now, we have to think about (the) parties in PH. We have to think not only about DAP, but also ensure that the PH government can succeed.

Q: DAP is a multiracial party but detractors disagree. They say the present leadership doesn’t reflect a multiracial party and it seems to contest mostly in Chinese-majority areas. Is there an effort to attract people of other races?

A: When we started in 1966, we recognised we did not want a race-based party. We wanted to have a multiracial party, and that was our objective.

And that was reflected in our party leadership candidature in 1969. We had Malay candidates in parliamentary and state seats.

In fact, in 1969, we had two Malay assemblymen. But we had to face certain realities.

For instance, at the time, on the western seaboard, these were mostly non-Malay areas.

What is important is whether your vision and objective is a multiracial one. You cannot become a multiracial party overnight in terms of (gaining) a 70 per cent (Malay) membership and leadership, and reflect the country’s (racial composition).

It’s not possible. But the important thing is whether we are mindful that we must continue to not be a race-based party, but a multiracial party.

Over time, we broadened ourselves to be more multiracial. Of course, we are going to expand. As I said, there are certain limitations. Can you stand in a rural area in Kedah and Kelantan?
We’d like to, but I don’t think the other parties would agree. These are the problems that we face.

Q: Do you think race-based parties in Malaysia are here to stay or do you think multiracial parties are the way forward?

A: I think we should move towards a more multiracial objective: from race-based to multiracial parties. Actually, we are not asking Malaysians to forget their ethnic association, which is impossible. But to expect everyone to think as a Malaysian, not as a Chinese, an Indian, Malay or Kadazan overnight, I don’t think that’s possible.

Q: Should race-based parties like Umno and Bersatu open their doors to other races, or should they be dissolved completely in the future?

A: I think it’s a process. It’s not for me to tell other parties what to do. But we will move towards a more multiracial objective, a more Malaysian approach, because like it or not, we want Malaysia to succeed as a nation.

Q: Some say the recipe to achieve unity is to set up single-stream schools. What do you think about that?

A: You have countries where they speak one language and they still fight. It is the concept. Are these (vernacular and national) schools responsible for (racial) division? I don’t think so.

Are those from Chinese schools communists? Are they anti-Malaysia? They’re not.

In September last year, I was having a chat with Dr Mahathir. He just came back from his first trip to Beijing, China, and many Malaysian Chinese were present.

They were there for 10 to 15 years. And I told him: “These are Malaysian Chinese. They are not China Chinese. Their heart and soul is still Malaysian”.

They regard themselves as Malaysians, not Chinese.

Q: I put it to you that one day we will have a non-Malay prime minister. Do you see that as a reality in the future or do you aspire to see that happen?

A: It will come about when Malaysians don’t think themselves as Malays, Chinese, Indians. But I don’t see it happening in my lifetime. And my lifetime won’t be very long anyway. But anyway, to be realistic, I don’t see it like (Barack) Obama becoming the US president. That is the ideal (situation). After all, the Federal Constitution says anybody can become prime minister.

But to expect this to be realised overnight, I don’t think that is realistic.

Q: About your relationship with Dr Mahathir, people keep harping on how you two were enemies back then. For example, last time you asked Dr Mahathir to present a White Paper on the alleged corruption involving Maika Holdings. This is one of the examples. And many have asked whether you will push for this again. So, will you ask the cabinet for a White Paper or RCI for the old cases?

A: I think let’s deal with the building of a new Malaysia. I will not retract a single word of what I’ve said before. In the present situation, you have to build a new Malaysia where there’s freedom, democracy, justice and unity among Malaysians.

Q: On the Maika Holdings scandal, a lot of people and families lost a lot of money. When will they get justice?

A: Is your family involved in Maika? (Reporter said no). I am in no position to answer. I first raised the Maika scandal in the early 1990s and since then there’s been various developments (such as) MIC tried to save it and all that. So I’m unable to give you any updates. You ask when will they get justice? I can’t answer that question.

Q: But will you continue fighting for them?

A: I fought for them. I raised the first issue. Any injustices or any wrongdoings will definitely be brought up. How are you going to deal with Maika scandal now, 30 years after? I think it’s a separate issue. I can’t answer you, to be frank.

Q: Do you think Dr Mahathir needs more time as prime minister before he hands over the reins to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim?

A: I think PH has decided upon the timetable, I’m sure it is on track. I think it’s agreed upon and Mahathir himself said that he will keep his promise, so there’s no reason to think otherwise.

Q: When there was a talk about Anwar not taking over, you offered some comments, right?

A: I did say something that, that is our collective promise and there’s no reason to think otherwise and I don’t think we should add salt on it. I think adding salt is the job of journalists and leader writers and not politicians.

Q: What is your narrative to counter people’s criticisms of your relationship with Dr Mahathir, to show people that you’re still your own man?

A: Why should I counter that and why should I be obsessed with it? Before the election, I was accused of taking RM1 billion from Mahathir so that we can accept him. One of these days, I’m going to ask him: “Where’s my money?” (laughs).

I think there are a lot of lies and falsehoods flying around. And one way is to respond to these falsehoods. Another way is to ignore them. There are more important things in life. That is the problem with Malaysian politics today. One problem we faced after the election is that the more lies and falsehoods have increased manifold on social media.

And whether you are honest, straightforward or responsible, the people can judge you over a period of time.

Q: I’m quite curious. You recently met Dr Mahathir. What did you discuss?

A: Surely, you don’t expect me to tell you. But many papers write about my meeting with him. So be it. I read one piece by (Datuk Dr) Puad Zarkashi. That’s fantastic (smiles).

Q: Umno and BN have been in power for 60-odd years, but if you look at other democracies, there are continuous changes in government. Do you want to see PH in power for a long period or is it healthier for the government to switch hands from time to time?

A: I would like to see the growth of a healthy democratic culture. That’s why we are lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. And there are people who say this is committing political suicide because young people are anti-establishment. And maybe that’s the reason why in the last 60 years, the Constitution was not amended.

What is good for the country may not be good for PH unless PH can rise up to the challenge and is able to make young people aware of the idealism and take ownership of the new Malaysia.
It’d be good if you have a multi-party coalition alternation of power. But first of all, PH should have enough time to implement its mission and ideals of a new Malaysia, which will take maybe two or three election cycles.

After that, it’s good to change. There’s always the tendency for people to overreach. All over the world, history has shown us good men and women begin to make mistakes when they overreach after they are in power.

Q: The lowering of the voting age and also to pursue this automatic voter registration (AVR) will see more Malays who were not previously registered get into the electoral roll. This will properly reflect the demography in the country.

A: I proposed declaration of assets and compulsory voting back in the 1970s in the Parliament as it will be more reflective of the actual population. But it is a challenge. You have to reach out and explain, be more conscious of their needs. They are more idealistic and I think we must not lose our idealism.

Q: Do you think them being automatically registered will compel young people to vote? Or will there be some work to be done on the party’s part to encourage people to come out?

A: No, firstly there’s a problem present, (which is) the bureaucratic problem on the registration of voters. In the past, there was an attempt to not only gerrymander but (also) to ensure that in areas where BN have no confidence (of winning), there will be a reduced registration of voters. But we want to liberate ourselves from all these considerations and everyone has the right to be registered and we want to have AVR. It should result in more young voters going to vote but all parties would have to have campaigns to explain to the young people that they deserve their support.

Q: Do you not think that, a stronger Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia with having more MPs joining the party will ease the insecurities of Malay voters?

A: I think insecurities of any segment of the population do not necessarily associate with the number of MPs of any political parties.

Q: What do you think of the ministers and deputy ministers from DAP? How would you gauge their performance thus far?

A: I prefer not to gauge their performance. Because by gauging their performance, I will also be reflecting the performance of other ministers and deputy ministers. I think our ministers and deputy ministers are dedicated, hardworking and resourceful.

Q: What do you think of the political climate now compared to when you first started? Do you think the country is moving towards the right direction?

A: We are in a transition, moving on from 60 years of the past to a new future and whether we can create that new future. I think this is a very challenging (work) to be done. Standing in the way will be the politics of lies (as well as) race and religion hatred because all of these (behaviour) disregard what is true, what is correct and what is known.

Stop telling lies like the DAP is anti-Malay, DAP is a demon and that the government is controlled by the DAP because it’s not. DAP is part of the four-party government. We must be able to get all of these clarified. If not, if PH fails and the people want to revert back to the old parties we are going to have a very chaotic era. It will be filled with uncertainties and lack of direction.

Q: On that note, sex scandals and Malaysian politics seem to be intertwined. Eg: Anwar in late 90s and recently the scandal involving Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. What was your and DAP’s initial reaction to this? Would you describe it as false or better to just leave it to authorities to investigate?

A: There are a lot of issues that would distract the leaders and people from the business at hand (such as on) building a new Malaysia, bringing about institutional reform, improving the economy and ensuring unity among Malaysians. At present there are a lot of distractions (especially with) the presence of social media. But I think all leaders should continue to be committed to these businesses at hand and not be distracted by extraneous circumstances.

Q: Parti Perikatan back then morphed into a 13-party coalition. Do you see PH heading towards that direction? Is it something that is on the table?

A: At present we have four parties and we have (cooperation with) Warisan. It’s difficult to say, but I don’t think we will end up as 13-party coalition. Whether it (PH) will expand to include others (like) Warisan, I think it’s something to be (looked into) when the time comes. It is something to be dealt with but it’s difficult to forecast now.

Q: How does DAP fund its party? Because there have been discussions on how Bersatu should go about this.

A: DAP has always been short of funds. The difference is, we don’t spend the way BN parties do. Whatever funds we have, it always comes from the people’s contribution. We have the ‘Milo tin’ going around. We don’t require what Umno divisions get where they receive allocations about RM30,000 to RM50,000 for each division, which is to us is a great luxury, a fantastic amount. We don’t have money and we operate on minimal expenditure as the money is all from the people. We don’t require or spend hundreds of millions and even when you do this, you can’t be sure whether you will get the support or not.

Q: How about MPs and State Assemblymen (Adun) of DAP? Do they contribute?

A: Every MP and Aduns (in DAP) have to allocate a percentage of their allowances to contribute to the party and this is how we get (funds). In other parties, when they nominate candidates, they give them money for the deposits and expenditures, but in our case, you find your own deposit and your own funds because we don’t have money for you. It’s not in our culture to simply give money away. It’s a different culture altogether.

Q: Are you not conscious of the danger of some people in DAP being tempted by corruption?

A: Yes you are correct. We are conscious. There’s an overreach in many ways to succumb to various temptations. I think these are the things that we must be aware of. You have to ask why you are in politics. Is it to serve yourself or to serve a larger cause of the people? But some way along the line, it gets blurred and you cross the line. Human beings are human beings.

Q: We don’t see too much competition during the DAP party election compared to Umno and Bersatu’s polls where we see long episodes of brawls and chair throwing which shows democracy.

A: So democracy is equated to chair throwing? If there’s no democracy, Tony (Pua) won’t be thrown out (from Selangor DAP committee). So it is democratic just minus the process of chair throwing.

Q: It seems that DAP is always too disciplined and too cohesive when an issue arises and that it keeps to a certain script.

A: This is over reading. You shouldn’t overreach and over read.

Q: YB, how do you feel as a father to see your son becoming the finance minister?

A: He has to prove and perform and all the more, he should establish himself as a credible and good finance minister. As for the judgement, I’ll leave it to other people.

Q: Are you considering retiring or taking a break since you refuse to take up any position in the government?

A: Well, that has always been on my mind. But when it’s going to take place, (I can’t say).

Q: So, you can’t give a timeframe on when you will retire?

A: I will tell you tomorrow if I have made plans. This is a difficult thing but of course eventually I would have to retire. But when? I can’t make a decision now. But like it or not, there will come a time when you will have to retire. You don’t want to be like (General Douglas) MacArthur. He died as the general.

Q: Your wife never asked you to retire? She never merajuk (sulk)?

A: You’d have to ask my wife la.

Q: On a lighter note, do you still play Pokemon Go?

A: (Unlocked his phone and showed his Pokemon Go. One of the writers shouted “What! Level 40!”) Oh, this level 40 (is from) a long time ago (since he last played).

Q: We’re wondering if you still have space for new friends on Pokemon Go?

A: Yes, come, please do (add).

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DAP will not be MCA2 and MCA cannot be DAP2

A new political myth is making the rounds in Malaysia, that with the DAP in a silent mode, there’s need for a Third Force in the country.

According to this myth, as DAP has become MCA2, MCA should become DAP2.

There cannot be a greater misreading of political trends and dynamics in Malaysia as DAP will not be MCA2 and MCA cannot be DAP2.

It is akin to political imbecility to believe that MCA, after being almost eliminated in the 14th General Election, could evolve to become DAP2, when up to now, MCA dare not cut its umbilical cord with UMNO and  no MCA leader has the  conviction and temerity to denounce the 1MDB scandal and  the former Prime Minster,
Datuk Seri Najib Razak  for bringing the
country to Malaysia’s worst depths of international infamy, ignominy and iniquity by
being condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stephen Wong’s untimely death – loss of a great Malaysian and a great Sabahan

We have lost a great Malaysian and a great Sabahan with the untimely death of Datuk Stephen Wong, Sabah DAP Chairman, DAP Central Executive Committee Member, Sabah Minister for Health and Wellbeing and Sandakan MP.

Wong is a dedicated political worker for the wellbeing and greatness of Malaysia and Sabah, the very embodiment of the example that it is no contradiction to be one at the same time a great Malaysian and a great Sabahan.

Wong had served Malaysia and Sabah well since elected as Member of Parliament for Sandakan in 2013 and re-elected in 2018 as well appointed Sabah Minister for Health and Wellbeing in the past ten months.

Before his active role in DAP Sabah, Wong was Sandakan Councillor and Secretary-General of the Sandakan Chamber of Commerce.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 28th March 2019)

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Two tasks for the 450 DAP Councillors to build a New Malaysia – to establish a clean and incorruptible culture of service and to be a force to promote understanding, tolerance, unity and harmony among diverse races, religions and cultures in Malaysia

I am somewhat surprised not that we have a retreat for local councillors, but that we have quite a large number of some 450 local councillors in the country – apart from the 42 DAP Members of Parliament and 119 State Assembly men/women in the country.

DAP has come a long way since our puny establishment 53 years ago, and it is important that the present generation of DAP leaders, in particular the DAP Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament, State Ministers and Exco and State Assembly representatives as well as the 450 local councillors should never forget where the DAP came from and where we want to go – the DAP came from ordinary Malaysians regardless of race or religion and our common objective is to help build a just, clean, free, democratic, united and prosperous Malaysia.
Read the rest of this entry »

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My 2018 Christmas Wish – that Pakatan Harapan can win the next few general elections to accomplish the building of a New Malaysia with the resolution of the inter-party and intra-party PH problems, differences and conflicts

I am making a Christmas wish today – that Pakatan Harapan will grow from strength to strength to win the next few general elections so as to accomplish the building of a New Malaysia with the resolution of the various inter-party and intra-party Pakatan Harapan problems, differences and conflicts.

I am not a Christian but that does not prevent me from making a Christmas wish, just as my making a Hari Raya wish would not make me a Muslim.

One reason for making this Christmas wish is to elaborate on what I said in Luoyang, Henan last Thursday, where I responded to a FaceBook post from Tan Sri Clement Hii to explain why DAP would never become a MCA2. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why DAP will not become a second MCA

I was informed of a FaceBook post about me on the FaceBook of Tan Sri Clement Hii, as follows:

“FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA, HE NEVER GAVE UP.

“He got agitated when I mentioned people might see DAP as another MCA if it didn’t continue to push for its reform agenda now that it’s part of the ruling coalition. That’s vintage Lim Kit Siang – he won’t want anything to do with the previous regime which he sees as kleptocratic and spineless. I first met him in the 70s when I was a budding journalist, and many decades later, I find that he hasn’t wavered in his fight for a better and fairer country.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Hanif’s cock-and-bull story that DAP wants Peninsular Malaysia to be partitioned into two parts, the West for Chinese and the East for Malays, is a rare and colossal act of mischief and irresponsibility by a former top cop

I have been thinking about the outrageous claim by the former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, who said that the DAP proposal to split Peninsular Malaysia between the Malays and the non-Malays was detailed in a Special Branch intelligence report sent to him in his capacity as police chief of staff in the National Operations Council (Mageran) in 1969.

It would appear that the Special Branch knew more about the DAP than the DAP itself!

This is total news to DAP leaders and I myself, who was DAP Secretary-General for 30 years from 1969-1999, DAP National Chairman for five years from 1999 to 2004 and DAP Parliamentary Leader for 14 years from 2004 – 2018, have never heard of it.

I have just spoken to the founding National Chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin who will be 94 years old in another two months’ time. Dr. Chen, who was DAP National Chairman for 33 years from 1966 to 1999 and four-term Member of Parliament, confirmed that he had never heard of the preposterous and ridiculous proposal to partition Peninsular Malaysia into two parts, the West for the Chinese and the East for the Malays, which is against the very principle and objective of the DAP since the founding of the party in 1966. Read the rest of this entry »

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If Hanif is not senile, then he should act as a responsible former IGP but not be an irresponsible former top cop by failing to take cognizance of the “scorched earth” tactics of UMNO and PAS political opportunists and extremists in post-14GE exploiting the toxic and dangerous politics of race, religion, fear, hate and lies to new unprecedented levels

Former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, has told Sinar Harian today that he is not senile, that he has got a good memory as he can still remember the Japanese bombing of Teluk Intan on 24th December 1941, when he was not yet three years old!

A person who is senile would not admit that he is senile, but I congratulate Hanif for having such a good memory. He is better than me as I could not remember what I did before I was three years old!

I had given Haniff 48 hours expiring around noon on Sunday to quote chapter and verse, date and place where I had made the preposterous and ridiculous proposal to partition Peninsular Malaysia into two parts, the West for the Chinese and the East for the Malays, for which he sent me to prison in 1969.

He failed to do so and his clarification to Sinar Harian today has not met my 48-hour deadline. Read the rest of this entry »

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